Posted on in News

AUSTRALIA: Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that more than 100 local and global organisations have expressed interest to deliver the Melbourne Airport Rail Link.

The Andrews Labor Government has committed up to $5 billion to build this project, which will run from the CBD to Melbourne Airport via Sunshine and form the north-western section of the Suburban Rail Loop.

“We are not wasting a minute in getting this project planned, designed and delivered. The Melbourne Airport Rail Link is the next step in our transformation of Victoria’s public transport network and a key part of the Suburban Rail Loop,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

Over the past four months, Rail Projects Victoria tested market interest from across the professional disciplines needed to deliver the Melbourne Airport Rail Link – including design, engineering, construction and finance.

The Labor Government will now assess which organisations have the capability to make the Melbourne Airport Rail Link a reality and begin gauging the interest of potential private sector investors and operators.

The full business case is now underway, with the project set to begin construction by 2022.

Aurecon Jacobs Mott MacDonald Joint Venture (AJM JV) has been appointed as a technical advisor and KPMG has been appointed as a commercial advisor for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link.

AJM JV have already started site investigations in the Airport Rail Link corridor as part of early planning work.

Ecologists are looking for protected flora and fauna to map the sites. The results from the surveys will be used to support detailed planning and assessments for the Airport Rail Link project.

The Joint Venture is also working on the Western Rail Plan, carrying out detailed investigations of infrastructure upgrades, costs and train requirements to deliver fast rail to the regions as part of the Airport Rail Link.

Posted on in News

UK: Network Rail has announced that the proposals for a new rail link from the Great Western Main Line to Heathrow Airport have been given a boost with a large majority of people backing it during the statutory public consultation carried out earlier this year.

Views were sought from rail users, communities, businesses and other interested parties. 1,333 responses were received via post, email and on Network Rail’s official consultation website, building on the previous 1,000 responses received during two previous rounds of public engagement and consultation in 2015 and 2016.

A total of 72% of respondents agreed with the proposals to build the new rail link with 11% of total respondents asking for the industry to speed up delivery of the scheme. 23% disagreed with the proposals with a required road closure in the Iver area being cited as the most common reason for the negative response.

The link would allow passengers throughout the West, and beyond, to travel directly to Heathrow Airport from Reading, Twyford, Maidenhead and Slough, without having to change at London Paddington. This would make journey times to Heathrow as short as 26 minutes from Reading and just 7 minutes from Slough. It would therefore help ease congestion on the roads, and bring economic growth and new jobs into the Thames Valley and surrounding areas.

The plans have been drawn up on behalf of the Department for Transport.         

Mark Langman, route managing director for Network Rail’s Western route explained: “We are delighted that the proposals have been given the overwhelming support of the public, businesses and stakeholders. We have also heard the concerns of some local residents so will continue to work hard to make sure our final plans, which will be submitted for consent in 2019, work with other developments in the area.”

All of the detailed proposals for the scheme are available online at www.networkrail.co.uk/heathrow.

heathrow west access

Posted on in News

 

UKRAINE: National rail company Ukrzaliznytsya has officially opened the Kyiv Boryspil Express rail service on 30 November 2018. The new rail links will connect Kiev Central Station with the airport terminals, with one intermediate stop oat Darnitsa. One way single ticket fare is EUR 2.5 and the journey time is 38 minutes. According to the operator, over 6 thousand passengers have used the airport rail link in the first week of service.

The total cost of the project was EUR 15m, which included construction of 4km of new railway track to connect with the existing network and new passenger platforms at the airport.

Posted on in News

USA: BART is launching a new app offering groups 25% saving on their airport transit trips. The BART to Airport app is designed as a one-year test of mobile ticketing at BART, marking the first time BART is offering mobile tickets through an app.

Friends, families, and business travellers of two or more can use the BART to Airport app to purchase discounted tickets in advance for airport trips with the stored tickets on the buyer’s phone ready for use any time. 

Riders will need to download the free app, register a debit card, credit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay or PayPal account into the account, then purchase a ticket. When they are ready to take BART, they activate the ticket and show it to a Station Agent as they enter and exit stations. 

"With the BART to Airport app, group travellers won’t have to worry about finding and paying for expensive parking at crowded airport lots or sifting through the chaotic curbside pick-ups and drop-offs at airport terminals,” said BART Board President Robert Raburn. “We want to test how mobile ticketing could work at BART while also making group travel on transit more affordable.”

BART offers frequent service directly to the doorstep of both Oakland International and San Francisco International airports. Three to four trains per hour depart from the SFO International Terminal and it’s just 30 minutes to downtown San Francisco.  The Oakland Airport BART Station is a short walk to both airline terminals and trains run every 6 minutes until 11pm and every 20 minutes after 11pm.

Posted on in Events News

The Global AirRail Awards 2018 ceremony took place in London on 29 November, celebrating 10th anniversary of the Global AirRail Alliance, an international community of airports, rail operators, planners and suppliers, working together to improve access to airports for passengers and staff.

“Each year the air-rail community gathers from around the world to share their challenges and achievements in improving passenger experience. Even though operators from different countries, regions and cities face their own unique challenges, by sharing them with their counterparts from around the world, operators can take a step back and better understand how lesson learned can be applied to their own service,” Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance said.

The Global AirRail Awards recognise excellence in improving rail access to and from airports from around the world in different categories. Each category is judged by a selection of transport professionals from around the world. The nominees are then shortlisted to top three entries and the winners is announced during the Global AirRail Awards dinner, taking place at the end of the annual Global AirRail Conference.

“The judges were very impressed by the quality of entries and overwhelmingly suggested we introduce a Highly Commended certificate to recognise the runners up of the Global AirRail Awards,” Milda added.

Winners and Highly Commended entries were announced in seven categories.

North Star Operator of the Year

This award recognises the service with best performance results and highest overall impact to the air-rail market over the past year.

Winner - Flytoget

A7202453 web

Picture: (from left) Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance, Philipp Engedal, CEO of Flytoget, NicolaiBryde, Commercial Director and Lotte Queru, Head of Marketing at Flytoget, Richard Brown, Managing Director of Nothr Star Consultancy.

Faced with increased competition and decreasing passenger numbers, Flytoget dared to continue being different, even if all the signs suggested they ought to conform. The operator has turned things around with forecasts predicting this year to have an all-time passenger record.

What Judges say: “A great effort to regain market share amidst strong competition. This is possible.”

Highly Commended - Stansted Express

A7202454 web

Picture: (from left) Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance, David Metherell, Head of Commercial Development and Chris Ford, Digital and Marketing Manager at Stansted Express, Richard Brown, Managing Director of North Star Consultancy

Stansted Express has achieved its highest market share despite increased competition and numerous operational challenges, with over 30 per cent of airport passengers choosing rail transport in the past 12 months.

What Judges say: “I was impressed by Stansted Express's acknowledge of changing expectations amongst (younger) travellers and the increasing development of low cost bus options.”

AccesRail Partnership of the Year 2018

This award celebrates successful partnerships between operators, suppliers and organisations, who work together to create seamless air-rail journeys.

Winner - Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn

A7202438 web

Picture: (from left) Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance, Carmen Röschner, Infrastructure Innovations & Joint Venture, Deutsche Lufthansa, Oddbjorn Taraldsvik, Director Business Development at AccesRail, and Daniel Scheider, Senior Product Manager, Deutsche Bahn

With the launch of the intermodal interface, the partnership of Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn has been lifted to a higher cooperation level. As a result, the manual process is history, the monetary risks are reduced and it’s easier to launch new Lufthansa Express Rail destinations.

What Judges say: “A complete intermodal project showing that when working together (rail/air/airport/local government) the benefit of intermodality can be a success.”

Highly Commended - Gatwick Airport and Govia Thameslink Railway

A7202441 web

Picture: (from left) Oddbjorn Taraldsvik, Director Business Development at AccesRail, Stephen Maccallaugh, Head of Gatwick Express, Hannah Godfrey, Surface Access Planning Manager at Gatwick Airport, David Stronell, Area Station Manager Gatwick Express, Stephen Darbyshire, Gatwick Express Operations Manager, and Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance

The strategic partnership brings together teams from both organisations and has supported efforts to ease passenger flows through the station, with improved wayfinding and new ticketing opportunities.

What Judges say: “I was very impressed with the collaboration between train, airport, retailers and airlines in improving the journey from plane to train, especially the effort to get disruption information to passengers before they reach the airport and making the ticket purchase easier.”

Project of the Year 2018

This award is given to a project or an initiative that is contributing greatly to future air-rail services, improving customer experience or engaging with local communities.

Winner - Express Rail Link “New Trains”

A7202442 web

Picture: (from left) Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance, Darren Santa Maria, Railway Operations and Systems Maintenance at ERL Maintenance, Sheila Shamsudin, Deputy VP Marketing and Sales, Express Rail Link, and Johannah Randall, Head of Station Operations at HS2 Ltd

Express Rail Link bought six new trains to cater to the expected traffic growth from low-cost carrier terminal KLIA2, as well as key townships along the rail corridor. The 50% increase in capacity means better reliability, more comfort onboard and less scheduled downtime for maintenance.

What Judges say: “This project demonstrates good contract management and a culture of engaging with suppliers to resolve issues whilst enforcing contractual obligations.”

Highly Commended - Gatwick Airport - Becoming the UK's Most Accessible Airport

A7202443 web

Picture: (from left) Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance, Stephen Darbyshire, Gatwick Express Operations Manager, Hannah Godfrey, Surface Access Planning Manager at Gatwick Airport, and Johannah Randall, Head of Station Operations at HS2 Ltd

Gatwick’s aim to become the UK’s most accessible airport includes a range of initiatives and projects providing enhanced facilities for passengers with disabilities, including the Hidden Disability Lanyard, Dementia Friends training and enhanced airport facilities.

What Judges say: “The ambition to be UK's most accessible airport is a very worthwhile objective is the range of initiatives presented show the effort to achieve this goal. I expect this will be a template for other airports over time.”

Marketing Campaign of the Year 2018

This award is dedicated to recognising the most creative and successful marketing campaigns in the air-rail sector.

Winner - Brisbane’s Airtrain – Airtrain and Tram

A7202447 web

Picture: (from left) Diane Burke, Business Consultant at Glassford Consulting, Chris Basche, CEO of Brisbane Airtrain, and Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance

The “Airtrain and Tram” campaign promoting Surfers Paradise has positioned Airtrain as the preferred transport option between Brisbane Airport and the Gold Coast.

What Judges say: “In a very challenging marketplace this campaign offers an eye catching, simple and effective message. I particularly liked the extension of the campaign to Gold Coast - shows diverse thinking.”

Highly Commended - Stansted Express - Fast Forward Your Escape

A7202448 web

Picture: (from left) Diane Burke, Business Consultant at Glassford Consulting, David Metherell, Head of Commercial Development and Chris Ford, Digital and Marketing Manager at Stansted Express, and Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance

The campaign leveraged some of the unique advantages that train travel offers to help Stansted Express distinguish itself from the competition demonstrating value for money, and quick and seamless customer experience.

What Judges say: “Excellent campaign with excellent results. The service continually reinvents itself with positive outcomes and the bold investment paid off.”

Innovation of the Year 2018

This award is designed to recognise technological and operational innovations that have the greatest impact to business and improving services on air-rail journeys.

Winner - Heathrow Express – Blue Lights

A7202445 web

Picture: (from left) Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance, Sophie Chapman Head Of Operations at Heathrow Express, and Ruth Purim, CEO and Founder of Activas Group

Blue hazard lights which flash when the train doors of Heathrow Express open on Platform 6 at London Paddington were switched on in December 2017, as part of a new measure to warn passengers to mind the gap and improve train and platform safety.

What Judges say: “Very important and innovative project - impressive statistics to have achieved a 95% decrease in step board accidents.”

Highly Commended - Journey PAL - The Rating Product for Accessible Travel

A7202446 web

Picture: (from left) Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance, Mat Garner, Co-Founder of Ethos Farm, Liam Henderson, Founder of Transporting Cities, Sally Alington, Founder and CEO of Ethos Farm, and Ruth Purim, CEO and Founder of Activas Group

Journey PAL is a web-based product that lets passengers with restricted mobility view and rate their rail journey, specific to their personal needs, whilst allowing them to contribute to a crowd-sourced database of accessibility information.

What Judges say: “This is such a positive initiative with great social benefits to make rail accessible for all whilst improving the journey.”

Airport of the Year

This award recognises airport’s achievements in improving passenger ground transport choices by working together with different stakeholders to create a truly multimodal hub.

Winner – Gatwick Airport

A7202450 web

Picture: (from left) Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance, Stephen Darbyshire, Gatwick Express Operations Manager, David Stronell, Area Station Manager Gatwick Express, Hannah Godfrey, Surface Access Planning Manager at Gatwick Airport, and Stephen Maccallaugh, Head of Gatwick Express,

Gatwick operates the world’s most efficient single runway airport and UK’s busiest airport rail station serving over 120 destinations directly and more than 700 within just one change. Gatwick has a proud rail history as the world’s first fully integrated air-rail interchange, with a strong emphasis on providing a seamless passenger journey from train to plane since 1958.

What Judges say: “Gatwick airport leads the way of forward thinking on how to ensure each of their users have a number of access choices depending on their different circumstances.”

Personality of the Year

Personality of the Year award recognises the achievements of an individual who has delivered a great positive impact to improving and promoting air-rail journeys and who’s work continues to inspire us all.

Winner – Fraser Brown

A7202458 web

Picture: Heathrow Express team accepting the award on behalf of Fraser 

In the past year Fraser Brown has successfully secured the foreseeable future of Heathrow Express with a new agreement between Heathrow Airport, Heathrow Express, the Department for Transport and Great Western Railway which sees the service extended until at least 2028. The innovative new business model will also see a new fleet of specially converted trains come into operation by December 2019.

At the same time, Fraser has overseen the successful introduction of ticket barriers and an upgraded ticketing system at Heathrow which represents the biggest change to station operations in 20 years of Heathrow Express.

Posted on in Members' News

HEX sustainability posters 0000 Artwork YoungPeople

UK: Heathrow Express has marked the 20th anniversary of sustainable service with a 36-metre long poster campaign created using some of the tons of rubbish left on its trains every year, telling the company’s sustainability story over the past two decades. The posters run along the breadth of the Heathrow Express walkway at Terminal 2.

Cups, plastic bottles and free newspapers found on Heathrow Express trains have been upcycled into mini works of art by award-winning illustrator and paper sculptor Rebecca Sutherland and photographed for the posters. Hundreds of thousands of travellers using the ‘Plane-to-Paddington at Heathrow’ service will now see the company’s sustainability achievements such as how the number of female drivers exceeds the industry average, how none of its waste goes to landfill, the fact that their fleet of trains are all-electric and that children travel for free.

One of the posters, highlighting the 500 hours of community work Heathrow Express has given, features a typically British plate of fish and chips crafted as a clever piece of up-cycled origami. Bottle tops have been repurposed as salt and pepper, a ring-pull used for the fish eye and there is a paper-folded knife and fork. Another, illustrating how the train service has helped youngsters find jobs, comprises a collage of tiny silhouettes and figures cut from newspaper pages, showing people at work.

HEX sustainability posters 0007 Background

The campaign, which has been devised by brand purpose consultancy Given London, reflects the growing importance of sustainable travel amongst consumers – a reality increasingly recognised by travel providers. Hotel booking platform Booking.com’s 2017 Sustainable Travel Report found that 67 percent of travellers would be willing to spend more on travel options which were more sustainable and TUI has found that its sustainability certified hotels result in better client experiences.

Chris Crauford, Head of Commercial at Heathrow Express said: “We felt it was time we were more vocal and confident in our sustainability credentials and this has been our most ambitious attempt yet to engage passengers in them. Increasingly consumers are committing to more sustainable approaches to travel and are interrogating brand’s individual approaches. We think many people will be surprised about how conscious we are in our operations – from the waste we recycle to our gender diversity commitments.”

Heathrow Express’ sustainability strategy supports the Heathrow 2.0 strategy for sustainable growth. Each of the themes in the posters feed into the four pillars of Heathrow’s wider sustainability ambitions - being a great place to work, a great place to live, a world worth travelling and a thriving, sustainable economy.

The upcycled sculptures were created by illustrator and paper sculptor Rebecca Sutherland. Sutherland said: “My thinking was to create things that touched that sweet spot between being seen as refuse and a visually stunning image. It’s strange to say, but when I was clearing up from the project, I had around 15 cups left over. It seemed strange to throw them in the bin. They had been a resource all week. They had been as valuable as my pencil or my scissors.”

HEX sustainability posters 0004 Artwork Families

Posted on in News

Rail Baltica North Sea Baltic Network

LATVIA: Rail Baltica Joint Venture is starting the second stage of the procurement of the design and design supervision services for the Rail Baltica section Upeslejas–Riga–Misa in Latvia.

This Rail Baltica main line section is 56 kilometres long, involves five municipalities and consists of three subsections: Upeslejas–Riga Central Station, Torņakalns–Imanta and Riga Airport–Misa River. It is one of the most complex sections since it crosses densely populated urban areas and includes the only Rail Baltica tunnel on the whole Rail Baltica route. In addition, it is interlinking the Rail Baltica International Passenger Stations in the Riga Central Station and the Riga International Airport.

The tender proposal submission deadline is 22 January 2019 and the contract duration will be 24 months during which the selected contractor will develop a master design, value engineering studies, spatial planning solutions and detailed technical design. In addition, the contract includes provision of the design author’s supervision during the construction phase of the line.

“Since Rail Baltica is the key missing link of the Trans-European Transport network, I carefully follow its progress," Kaspars Ozoliņš, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Transport of Latvia said. "Design of the Upeslejas–Riga–Misa section is a natural continuation of the earlier signed detailed technical design of Riga International Airport RB passenger station civil structures and junction contract as well as the ongoing procurement for the detailed technical design and construction of the Riga Central Station junction. Moreover, in the nearest future we plan to sign our first construction contract. I am pleased to see that Rail Baltica project remains in spotlights of the international community as so many international companies have expressed their interest to bid for Rail Baltica tenders. And our, Latvian, enterprises go with them.”

According to the preliminary plans, 12 road viaducts, 16 rail viaducts, 13 segregated pedestrian crossings, 5 bridges, the second part of the railway overpass in Riga Airport as well as a cut and cover tunnel need to be designed for this Rail Baltica section.

“Design of the Rail Baltica line through Riga is a technically challenging task and we are pleased to see strong and experienced competitors taking part in the tender,” Ignas Degutis, RB Rail AS acting CEO said. “Our plan is to ensure that Rail Baltica line will be sustainably integrated in the environment of the Latvian capital and the neighbouring municipalities on the route. The selected designer will play the key role in defining technical solutions in cooperation with a wide range of stakeholders, while also providing solutions to address the expectations of the surrounding communities, such as visual integration of the railway in the landscape as well as tackling noise pollution.”

Six tenderers with extensive international knowledge and experience were preselected earlier in 2018 to take part in the second stage of the tender:

  • Group of suppliers “ACG3I-AMBERG-CONSULTRANS-GEG-GREISCH-GRID-INZENIERBUVE” (Amberg Engineering AG; Amberg Technologies AG; CONSULTRANS S.A.U.; GEG Gabinete de Estruturas e Geotecnia Lda; GREISCH Ingénierie S.A.; GRID Consultas Estudos e Projectos de Engenharia S.A.; GRID International Consulting S.A.; INZENIERBUVE LLC).
  • Group of suppliers “IDOM-INECO” (IDOM Consulting, Engineering, Architecture, S.A.U.; Ingeniería y Economía del Transporte SME MP S.A. (INECO)).
  • Group of suppliers “OBERMEYER Planen + Beraten GmbH”.
  • Group of suppliers “Consortium TYPSA – SETEC – TUC RAIL – REM PRO” (Setec International; Técnica y Proyectos S.A. (TYPSA); TUC RAIL S.A.; REM PRO SIA).
  • Group of suppliers “SYSTRA/COWI Mainline through Riga JV” (SYSTRA SA; COWI A/S).
  • Group of suppliers “AIA Latvia Mainline Riga” (Aecom Inocsa S.L.U.; Italferr S.p.A).

The entire Rail Baltica line is divided in 11 sections to be contracted separately for the provision of detailed technical design. By now, the procurement is underway for 6 out of 11 sections. It is expected that the detailed technical design for the entire line will be procured by the end of 2021.

Posted on in News

UK: Gatwick Airport held its annual Transport Forum on 12 October, which emphasised airport's commitment to continue increasing the usage of sustainable modes and decreasing road congestion. The Forum gave an overview on Gatwick's initiatives to improve surface access for passengers and employees.

Richard Higgins, Head of Gatwick's Surface Access Strategy said that one of the key goals is to continue to move to sustainable modes and taking vehicle trips of the roads.

"In the last twelve months we had a period of disruptions, especially with the rail service. Due to the high frequency of rail services at the airport, we had been partially protected from those disruptions but there still has been an impact on punctuality. Our rail mode share could be at least two percent higher than it is today, if all things ran smoothly," Richard Higgins said.

Following on from the Forum, Gatwick Airport has released the draft Master Plan setting out how the airport can meet the growing demand for air travel as the airport estimates to reach 50 million annual passengers by 2020.

The draft Master plans details surface access improvement projects, emphasizing that Gatwick’s railway station, as one of the busiest in the country, has been struggling to cope with rising numbers of trains and passengers. Gatwick is working with Network Rail, the owners of the station, to develop plans to expand and improve the concourse areas. This will add more vertical circulation to the busiest platforms to facilitate platform clearance and provide new enhanced pedestrian routes. The proposed scheme will be jointly funded by the airport, Network Rail and DfT, costing around £120m, and is due for completion by 2022/23.

The full Master Plan can be downloaded from here >>> 

Posted on in Members' News

ERLxRokki

MALAYSIA – Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL) continues on its aggressive digital partnership drive as it announces its latest collaboration with ROKKI, AirAsia’s in-flight WiFi platform that offers in-flight entertainment and connectivity.

AirAsia guests can now enjoy the convenience of buying KLIA Ekspres tickets on-board the flight using their mobile devices. The new facility will save them the hassle of buying tickets at the ticket counter or kiosk upon flight arrival.

Noormah Mohd Noor, Chief Executive Officer of ERL said, “We are proud to be partnering with ROKKI. At ERL, we constantly look for new ways of expanding our customer base and now with ROKKI, it has been expanded to the skies! This strategic partnership creates a seamless travel experience to those travelling with AirAsia. With a 99.7% on-time performance, the KLIA Ekspres provides passengers a fast and reliable way to the city centre.”
To get started, passengers can simply connect a mobile device to ROKKI in-flight Wi-Fi for free and visit rokki.com to purchase the KLIA Ekspres e-tickets.

Lalitha Sivanaser, Chief Executive Officer of ROKKI said, “Partnerships like this are important to ROKKI, as our primary goal is to benefit and add value to the AirAsia guest’s travel experience. Now, they can arrive at their destination stress-free, knowing they have got the best deals on airport transfer even before they’ve landed in klia2. Guests can look forward to more deals like this on ROKKI as we continue to expand our offering.”

Earlier this month ERL has launched a Year End Super Saver (YESS) promotion offering fare discounts of up to 27% until 1 January 2019.

Besides that, ERL is also offering their KLIA Ekspres+GRAB package at a special price as part of the YESS promotion.

Noormah Mohd Noor, Chief Executive Officer of ERL said, “The final quarter of the year is a great time to travel and spend time with our loved ones. Travellers are always on the lookout for sweet deals and there’s no better to way to start their holiday than with KLIA Ekspres.”

Posted on in News

LGArenderings Page 4 Image 0001

USA: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is inviting consultants to submit proposals for the formal environmental review of the planned AirTrain LGA project.

The environmental impact statement (EIS), which is required by the National Environmental Policy Act, will provide multiple opportunities for public input and examine all potential effects and mitigation measures of the proposed airport rail-link from LaGuardia Airport in Queens to both the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and New York City Transit (NYCT) subway system. It will also further study a range of alternatives to meet the stated goals of providing better access to New York City origins and destinations for passengers via shorter and more reliable-travel times to and from the airport. 

Travel times to LaGuardia Airport via automobile have gone up in recent years and have become highly unpredictable due to increased congestion, which is projected to worsen in the years ahead. 

“As is the case with any critical infrastructure project, public input and a thorough evaluation of all alternatives is paramount,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “Our goal is to provide LaGuardia Airport passengers with a convenient, reliable world-class rail connection with travel times below 30 minutes from midtown Manhattan. We’re grateful for the invaluable community input that has guided our planning thus far and look forward to additional engagement as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proceeds with the formal environmental review.” 

Once the environmental consultant is selected, the review will commence with a Notice of Intent and scoping, the process used to determine the appropriate contents of an EIS. Public participation including a public hearing process is an integral part of scoping, which will be formally announced and widely publicized to solicit comments about what should be included such as relevant local issues, alternatives, and mitigation measures. Additional opportunities for review and comment will occur once a Draft EIS is prepared and made available for a minimum of 45 days, including an additional public hearing process. The FAA will conclude the process with the issuance of a Record of Decision on the project. 

The FAA will be the lead agency responsible for overseeing the EIS in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. 

To support the environmental review and assist in the selection of the consultant, the Port Authority submitted to the FAA a set of initial documents including 1) its analysis of a wide range of alternatives that are on the table as part of the review process; 2) an examination of projected ridership of AirTrain through a passenger preference survey and a ground choice access model; 3) a study on increased traffic congestion between LaGuardia Airport and Midtown Manhattan, the airport’s largest passenger market.

The alternatives analysis identifies 20 options to improve access to the airport, including exclusive bus lanes, improvements to the existing transportation system, ferry service, five separate potential off-airport locations for fixed guideway terminals, and previously proposed extensions of the Astoria subway line.

The alternatives analysis also identifies the Port Authority’s “preferred alternative” as an elevated train operating between LaGuardia and an off-airport station at Willets Point, with transfers to the Long Island Rail Road and the MTA’s No. 7 subway line with direct connections to Grand Central Terminal and New York Penn Station. The Port Authority’s plan calls for two on-airport stations as part of LaGuardia’s $8 billion redevelopment.

The ridership analysis submitted to the FAA indicates that between 6.6 million and 10 million annual trips would be taken on AirTrain LGA in its early years of operation. That range would rise to 8.4-12 million annual trips by 2045.

A study by Sam Schwartz Engineers, a traffic and transportation planning and engineering firm, found that between 2014 and 2017, the number of days on which peak travel times between LGA and Midtown occurred that were greater than 70 minutes, increased more than fivefold – to 114 days of the year. That represents nearly one in every three days. The unpredictable variability of travel times means passengers must budget more and more time to avoid missing a flight. Today, budgeted time from Midtown is approximately an hour. By 2045, in a world of autonomous vehicles and when LaGuardia’s annual passenger volume is anticipated to grow to more than 40 million up from the 2017 record of 29.5 million, the budgeted travel time to and from Midtown is projected to double to nearly two hours.

The RFP and supporting documents can be found here >>>

Posted on in Members' News

KLIA New design2 web

MALAYSIA: Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL) announced a new partnership with Vidi, an online platform where travellers can find and book travel activities such as tours, attraction tickets, and restaurant deals in over 79 destinations across Asia Pacific.
 
This latest partnership marks another step for ERL in providing a seamless service experience that is fast, reliable, comfortable and convenient.
 
Speaking on the partnership, ERL’s Chief Executive Officer, Noormah Mohd Noor said, “We are proud and excited to be partnering with Vidi. Their interactive trip planning capability allows travellers to plan and choose activities on a single platform. With Vidi onboard, travellers can now include KLIA Ekspres easily in their trip itinerary. This partnership will certainly broaden our sales distribution.”
 
“At Vidi, we’re always trying to find ways to add value for our customers. This partnership with ERL is really exciting for us as it provides our customers, both locals and international travellers, a complete airport-to-city travel solution. Ensuring comfortable, fast, and reliable transportation is a great way to make the start and end of any journey memorable! ” stated Aaron Sarma, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Vidi.

Posted on in Members' News

arlanda express print 8324 web

SWEDEN: Starting 16 October, Arlanda Express has launched a new “Early Bird” ticket, whereby passengers will only pay SEK 195 one-way for tickets purchased at least seven days in advance.

The new Early Bird ticket can be purchased on the Arlanda Express website up to 7 days before the date of travel, and represents a discount of over 30% on the standard full fare. Adults may be accompanied by up to four children aged 0-17 free of charge.

The introduction of the new Early Bird ticket is in response to extensive customer feedback on how they use the Arlanda Express. “Stockholm is a city with a high number of single households, and customers told us that they often travel on their own. We wanted to offer these adults travelling on their own an affordable alternative” says Per Thorstenson, CEO of Arlanda Express.

At the same time, Arlanda Express is retaining its campaign tickets that offer discounts to people travelling together. The fare is SEK 350 for a group of two people, SEK 450 for three people and SEK 550 for four people travelling between Thursdays and Sundays.

As part of the simplification of the product offering, the existing 90/30/14 day Early Bird tickets, 6 hour ticket, student ticket, and 50-trip travelcard will be discontinued. The price of a standard journey will increase by SEK 15. Up to four children aged 0–17 accompanied by an adult may continue to travel free of charge.

“We offer industry-leading punctuality and service. This simplified offering makes it easier for more people to travel with us,” says Per Thorstenson, CEO of Arlanda Express.

The complete new price list can be found here: https://www.arlandaexpress.se/priser.aspx

Posted on in Members' News

Aeroexpress

RUSSIA: Moscow airports' express rail service Aeroexpress will introduce several new fares and upgrade the existing ones before the end of autumn.

One of the new fares offered to passengers is a "Roundtrip" ticket, which includes two rides on the train for RUB 850, regardless of the way of purchase. Previously similar ticket cost RUB 1,000 when purchased from ticket offices and ticket vending machines.

The roundtrip ticket is valid for 30 days and includes two rides in a standard carriage on any of the Aeroexpress routes. From 16 October passengers can buy this ticket from ticket offices, ticket vending machines, online and via the app for the same price.

“We have been constantly analyzing the existing fares and try to offer our passengers the most attractive options. “Roundtrip” tickets are in the highest demand, but their price was different depending on whether they were purchased from a ticket office or online. We decided to upgrade this fare and unify the price, thus making it much more beneficial than a taxi ride. On average, one taxi ride from a rail terminal to the airport during daytime costs 650 to 2,000 roubles one way. Our passengers will be able to make two rides at a lower cost,” said Alina Bisembaeva, CEO of Aeroexpress.

In November, Aeroexpress is also going to introduce a completely new special offer for two passengers travelling together. This pair fare will be available at ticket offices and company’s employees at the Aeroexpress terminals, as well as via the company’s website and app.

Posted on in Members' News

Flytoget

NORWAY: Monday 8 October 2018 marks the 20th anniversary for both Oslo Airport Gardermoen and Flytoget Oslo Airport Express. CEO Philipp Engedal is optimistic about the company’s future and looks forward to celebrating the anniversary with both customers and employees.

“We are celebrating 20 years of proud history and great results and it is very rewarding to conclude that we are stronger than ever. In 2018 Flytoget will see an all-time high in terms of both passengers and turnover we have a stable customer satisfaction of 97%. We have 312 wonderful employees and over 100 million travelers to thank for these results”, says Engedal.

Since the beginning Flytoget has generated more than 1,5 billion NOK in dividends to the state of Norway, contributed to the fact that over 70% uses public transport to and from Oslo Airport, and has won numerous awards for their outstanding level of service mindedness.

“In 2019 we get our brand-new Airport Express Trains, and I must say I look forward to the next 20 years with my dedicated and enthusiastic group of employees,” concludes Engedal.

To mark the occasion Flytoget will serve coffee, breakfast and cupcakes to their passengers travelling on Monday.

Posted on in News

JFKVisionPlan 19

USA: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a $13 billion plan to transform John F. Kennedy International Airport into a modern 21st century airport anchored by two new world-class international terminal complexes on the airport's north and south sides. This investment — including $12 billion in private funding — advances the Governor's vision for a unified and interconnected airport system with modern passenger amenities, centralized ground transportation options and improved roadways that collectively will increase the airport's capacity by at least 15 million passengers a year.

"This historic investment to modernize JFK Airport and the surrounding transportation network will not only ease travel through this major hub, but it will ensure JFK joins the ranks as one of the finest airports in the world," Governor Cuomo said.

The Governor's JFK Vision Plan, initially unveiled in January 2017 and based on the recommendations from the Governor's Airport Advisory Panel, calls for an overhaul of the airport's hodgepodge of eight disparate terminal sites into one unified JFK Airport by demolishing old terminals, utilizing vacant space, and modernizing on-airport infrastructure, while incorporating the latest in passenger amenities and technological innovations. The Vision Plan also calls for increasing the number and size of gates, improving parking availability, an array of airside taxiway improvements to allow for bigger planes and reduced gate congestion, upgrading the AirTrain JFK system to handle increased passenger capacity, and enhanced roadways on and off the airport.

JFKVisionPlan 25

Cuomo's announcement follows the selection in September 2017 of a master planning team for the redevelopment of the airport, led by Mott MacDonald and Grimshaw Architects.

The plans for the two terminals will now be submitted to the Port Authority's Board of Commissioners. Once lease terms are finalised, the leases will be subject to final Board approval. Additional discussions with multiple other airlines and terminal operators remain ongoing to further advance the goals of the Vision Plan.

The proposed new $7 billion, 2.9 million square foot terminal on the airport's south side will be developed by the Terminal One Group, a consortium of four international airlines—Lufthansa, Air France, Japan Airlines and Korean Air Lines. The complex will be operated by Munich Airport International and also be connected to the existing Terminal 4.

On the airport's north side, the proposed new $3 billion, 1.2 million square foot terminal will be developed by JetBlue.

Construction is expected to begin in 2020 with the first new gates opening in 2023 and substantial completion expected in 2025.

An additional $2 billion in private non-Port Authority funding will be allocated to an array of critical infrastructure upgrades.

With respect to mass transit, the Port Authority will be adding 50 percent capacity to the AirTrain JFK system as well as increasing frequency of service to keep up with rising demand. More than 7.6 million paid passengers used the system in 2017, with another 12.6 million more riding it to connect between terminals and access ground transportation. Additionally, at Jamaica Station the Long Island Rail Road is constructing a new, 12-car platform that will increase capacity for those traveling to and from JFK.

Posted on in Members' News

SOUTH AFRICA: This month Gautrain celebrates 100 months of operation, having transported in excess of 86 million train passengers, as well as 25 million bus passengers to date.

Posted on in News

ISRAEL: Israel Railways have officially opened the new high speed rail link between Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport and Jerusalem on 25 September 2018. The trains will operate every half hour and it will take 21 minutes to travel from the city centre to the airport.

This is just a part opening of the line, in the coming months the line will be extended, first to Tel Aviv’s stations and eventually to Herzliya. When completed, the journey between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem will take under half an hour.

Posted on in Members' News

NS Market Share 2018

Leading passenger transport and operations consultancy North Star, has released its sixth annual Global Air-Rail Market Share Report. The report evaluates a sample of worldwide Market Share trends of rail connections to airports.

North Star assessed a combined 50 million air-rail passenger journeys, which occurred during 2017, from a sample of air-rail operators in Australia, South Africa, Malaysia, China, the United Kingdom, France, Austria, Russia and other locations.

Market share is calculated as the percentage of airport passengers that use each rail service to travel to and/or from the airport and the city centre. Passenger numbers used, exclude airport transit passengers and staff. The market share index sums the collective change in market share on the year-by-year basis, adding it to a baseline figure of 100.

Whilst acknowledging the vast worldwide patronage that continues to use air-rail connections, North Star’s Managing Director Richard Brown recognised the ongoing headwinds facing the industry. Mr Brown reported that for the second consecutive year, North Star’s analysed Market Share index reduced.

“The industry continues to experience increased competition from ride share and car-hailing competitors”, reported Mr Brown. “Like many established industries, Air-Rail has been confronted with disruption. On the other hand, our sample operators reported that ongoing road congestion to and from airports remains a compelling reason why passengers choose rail as their preferred transport mode.”

Reflecting on North Star’s sixth report, Mr Brown observed the findings on marketing and fare promotions.

“The long-term data indicates the persuasive evidence that investment in marketing supports Market Share growth”, he said. “And interestingly, a number of our operators have been successful in moving the Market Share dial via fare discounts and promotions. We are seeing a range of exciting approaches to marketing and fare pricing from many of our sample operators”.

Sydney Airport Link’s Chief Executive Tim Anderson, who oversees 9 million annual air-rail passenger journeys to Australia’s gateway airport commended on North Star’s report. “It’s very enlightening to read the study and understand what is occurring around the globe. Geographically we are very diverse, but there are many similar challenges and opportunities that we all confront. This report gives us a common bond and communication avenue to expand our businesses.”

From South Africa, Gautrain’s Senior Executive Manager of Communications and Marketing Dr Barbara Jensen echoed a similar response: “It is not only valuable to have an insight into global trends, but it is also valuable to see how Gautrain rates amongst other air rail providers. In addition, the report provides a scientifically sound yet practical review on air rail market share. Definitely a valuable initiative to partner with.”

KLIA Ekspres’ Chief Executive Noormah Mohd Noor added, “The challenges facing us in Kuala Lumpur are similar to those faced by air-rail operators worldwide. However, the initiatives and creative solutions by each operator is different. We strongly believe that we can help one another. The Market Intelligence Report allows this sharing of knowledge, which is what we like and see as the biggest benefit of participating in this report”.

The participants will discuss the report in more detail in London at the Global AirRail London Conference taking place on 27-29 November 2018.

GARA2018 Artwork Sponsors

Posted on in News

Leeds airport rail map

UK: Leeds City Council will call for public consultation to improve road and rail access to the airport.

Leeds Bradford Airport is a key economic asset for Leeds and the wider region, supporting over 5,000 jobs and contributing £336million to the city region economy each year. It is one of the fastest-growing airports in the UK, with passenger numbers predicted by the Department for Transport to rise from four million in 2017 to 7.1million by 2030 and over nine million by 2050.

To support this expected growth at the airport and to support job creation in the wider north west Leeds, the council working with West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds Bradford Airport and key stakeholders has put forward some key investment proposals, including a new airport parkway rail station, located on the existing Leeds-Harrogate Line, with a short connecting spur road to the airport to provide a shuttle bus connection similar to that at Luton Airport. This would also serve as a park and ride service for destinations on the Leeds-Harrogate Line and beyond.

Improving rail access to the airport has long been an ambition for Leeds, but the location of Leeds Bradford Airport and its topography meant any direct rail connection would be very difficult to achieve and would be prohibitively expensive.

According to the Council, the potential for a parkway station nearby to serve the airport by rail and both Leeds and Harrogate has now come about as part of the Connecting Leeds transport strategy, with the city receiving funding of £173.5m from the government to invest in transport network improvements.

Offering rail connectivity to the airport does not, however, remove the need for better road access.

“The latest figures from regional airports including Manchester show that 84 per cent of passengers travel to the airport by car or taxi despite there being direct rail links. Therefore, as Leeds Bradford Airport continues to grow, it is vital that we look at ways to alleviate increased traffic on the road network in north west Leeds as well as plans for a rail connection, Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Councillor Richard Lewis said.

All of the key details on the proposals to be considered together will be available in the consultation, to take place early in 2019.

Posted on in News

POLAND: Polish railway company PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe SA has received EU funding for the reconstruction and modernisation of the partially disused railway line connecting Tarnowskie Góry and Zawiercie.

The EUR 117 million investment comes from the Operational Program Infrastructure and Environment 2014-2020 and will create a new direct rail access to Katowice Airport. The estimated journey time from Tarnowskie Góry to the airport is 17 minutes and from Zawiercie about 23 minutes.

The total value of the project is EUR 173 million and the construction works are planned to start in 2020 with the estimated opening in 2022.